Beginning of a settled life
Hunsgi and Baichbal Valley in the Deccan have several Stone Age sites
Historians believe that human beings first appeared on Earth about 1. 5 million years ago. In those days, people lived in small bands of 20 to 30 in forests.
The stone age
The main object used by early humans was stone. They depended on stones for their survival; that is why this period is called the stone age. On the basis of development of different stone tools, anthropologists have divided the stone age into different stages.
Stone age is classified into three sub – periods on the basis of the type and quality of stone tools used by early humans.
1. Palaeolithic age or old stone age.
2. Mesolithic age or middle stone age.
3. Neolithic age or new stone age.
In the beginning, they were hunters, food gatherers and nomads. They travelled from one place to another in search of food. They hunted animals and also fished in lakes and rivers. Their food mainly comprised fruits, vegetables and meat.
Hunsgi and Baichbal Valley in the Deccan have several Stone Age sites. Most of them are early Palaeolithic sites. A large number of finished tools have been found here. This shows that early humans lived here for a very long time and the sites were probably habitation as well as factory sites. Most tools were made from limestone, which was locally available. Sharp, pointed stone tools called microlights.
Microlights are found in many parts of India like Chhota Nagpur in Jharkhand and also on the banks of the River Ganga between Ghazipur and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
Humans Made Hand Axes
Burzahom (in Jammu and Kashmir) has been an important prehistorical site
The Mesolithic Age started around 10,000 BC and ended around 8,000 BC. The climate changed, and became dry and warm. Humans of this age developed small,
The clothes of early humans were also derived from plants and animals from plants and animals. They more animals skins along with leaves or bark of trees to cover themselves.
They did not live in houses. They used to live in caves or under rocks. Some times, they made small huts of branches and leaves that protected them from wild animals and harsh weather conditions.
Rock painting were also discovered elsewhere in the world, for example, in France. Historians believe that such painting were made between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago. The ingredients of the colors were mainly mineral like ocher or iron- ore, and charcoal. The subject of these paintings were animals like bison, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer and son on. It is believed that these rock paintings were, perhaps, created on ceremonies for special rituals or perhaps, by hunters before they went for hunting.
Agriculture first started in he foothills of the Zagros mountains of Iraq and Iron, around 8,000 – 10,000 years ago. Various bands started growing crops according to their requirements. Some of them started growing maize, some grew sweet potato and some grew barley.
Burzahom (in Jammu and Kashmir) has been an important prehistorical site. A stone slab with a painting done by early humans has been found here. The painting depicts two hunters hunting a deer. Charred remains remains of grains and seed of cereals have also been found here.